Jury deliberation could begin today in the trial of a 33-year-old Panola County man accused of murdering his mother’s live-in boyfriend.
David Scott McLarty, 33, faces a murder charge in the May 2004 death of Kenny Belvin.
The circuit trial is being held at the Panola County Courthouse in Batesville where Judge Ann Lamar of Oxford is presiding.
McLarty claimed self defense after shooting Belvin six times with a Ruger .22 pistol while the two men argued at 1211 Sardis Lake Drive.
Belvin lived at that address with McClarty’s mother, Lynn Jenkins.
Jenkins was the sole witness to the shooting and backed up her son’s claims in interviews with investigators. She was set to testify for the defense Thursday afternoon.
A grand jury indicted McLarty of murder last November.
The circuit trial began Monday afternoon after a jury of four males and eight females was seated.
On Tuesday, however, Lamar called in sick and jurors were dismissed at 9 a.m. by Circuit Clerk Joe Reid. The Oxford judge was also sick on Wednesday, but she returned Thursday and the trial resumed.
Forensic pathologist Steven Hayne, who performed the autopsy on Belvin’s body, took the witness stand at 11 a.m. Thursday morning.
Hayne answered questions for an hour and a half from Assistant District Attorney Robert Kelly and defense attorney Joey Langston.
The court testimony from Hayne is crucial to both sides since the defense is claiming that the men scuffled and both were armed, and that McCarty shot and killed Belvin to protect himself and his mother.
Under direct examination by Kelly, Hayne testified that Belvin’s hands and fingers showed no signs of a struggle, such as tears or cuts, and no skin, hair or clothes fragments were found underneath his fingernails.
Hayne also testified that the bullets’ entry wounds indicated that a "time frame" had elapsed, meaning Belvin was shot in his chest but was turning away from McLarty when he was shot again on his right side.
Regarding apparent injuries to Belvin’s shin and wrist, Hayne testified that those injuries are mostly likely from a fall, not a fight.
Under cross-examination by Langston, however, Hayne agreed that the injuries could have come from "fisticuffs" between the two men.
"So the scrape on his wrist could have come from a struggle?" Langston asked.
"Yes, it could come from that," Hayne replied.
Though he said the scenario was unlikely, Hayne also agreed with Langston that the two men could have suffered only glancing blows that would have been hard to see.
Langston also noted numerous controlled substances in Belvin’s system including alcohol, marijuana, hydrocodone and barbiturates.
During a lunch recess Thursday, Langston said the defense should rest its case Friday morning, meaning the jury could begin its deliberation today after closing arguments.
McLarty is also represented by David Scruggs of Oxford. Langston is from Booneville.